Being a student and being in poverty go together like strawberries and cream. Although it’s unlikely you’ll be tucking into strawberries and cream during your student life, more pot noodle and butterless toast.
Being poor is, for most, a part of student life, yet there’s a great sense of camaraderie and togetherness about you and your friends trying to get by on a pittance because you’ve spent all your money on booze. It’s something you’ll reminisce about affectionately when you’re all super successful high earners.
But to ensure that you do have more money to spend on booze it’s worth exploring ways to save a few quid. Research provided by Voucherbox has suggested that the degree you choose can make you a significant saving, but there are also a few life tweaks that can ensure you’ve always got a little extra cash in your pocket.
Cook Your Food and Buy in Bulk
Eating quick, budget-friendly meals doesn’t have to be hard work and there are plenty of ways to eat delicious meals without spending all day in the kitchen or your entire student loan at the supermarket. Cooking from scratch is a good skill to learn and more fun than simply buying expensive ready meals off the supermarket shelf. It will involve a little trial and error, but it’s much more rewarding, both for your wallet and for your health. There are many websites dedicated to student recipes and they offer step-by-step guides to creating great meals that suit your budget and cater to those with sparse cooking abilities.
Buying non-perishable foods in bulk is another cakewalk to saving money, especially as a household investing in buying all the essentials together.
Invest in Travel Cards
The 16-25 Railcard is for anyone aged 16 to 25 or over 25 and in full-time study. With the card, you get 1/3 off Standard Anytime, Off-Peak, Standard Advanced and First Class Advanced fares. At the time of writing, it is only £30 for the whole year or £70 for three years and entitles you to other promotions such as theatre tickets or hotel discounts.
As well as rail travel it’s also worth looking at your local bus operators and seeing what travel cards they have for students or young people. Travel cards are really a sure thing in terms of money saving and give you and your friends the opportunity to venture away from campus for a cheap escapade.
Ask for Discounts
The National Union of Students (NUS) has the aim of promoting, defending and extending student rights. Part of that sphere of activity is ensuring students get a good deal on their purchases through exerting their considerable commercial influence to provide the NUS Extra Card.
You can view here all the discounts the card provides, but not every shop is on the site. A number of smaller outfits will do discounts, but won’t actually publicise it on the NUS site. If you take your NUS Extra card or your student ID card shopping with you and always ask for a discount, you might be surprised at how much of a saving you can make.
These are just 3 simple ways to make significant savings during your impoverished student years, but there are many more adjustments you can make to keep cash in your wallet or purse. Keep in mind that the key to financial savings is being aware of how you’re spending your money and cutting out the bad habits. Your student days are a great time to learn an essential life lesson about becoming smarter in the way you spend your money and there’s a difference between being cheap and having savoir-faire about spending.